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UNITED
NATIONS
E

        Economic and Social Council
Distr.
GENERAL
E/CN.4/1998/SR.29
7 September 1998

ENGLISH
Original: FRENCH

COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
Fifty-fourth session

SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 29th MEETING

Held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva,
on Thursday, 2 April 1998, at 3 p.m.

Chairman: Mr. SELEBI (South Africa)

later: Mr. CHOWDHURY (Bangladesh)
(Vice-Chairman)


CONTENTS



QUESTION OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF ALL PERSONS SUBJECTED TO ANY FORM OF DETENTION OR IMPRISONMENT, IN PARTICULAR:

(a) TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT;

(b) STATUS OF THE CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT;

(c) QUESTION OF ENFORCED OR INVOLUNTARY DISAPPEARANCES;

(d) QUESTION OF A DRAFT OPTIONAL PROTOCOL TO THE CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT (continued)

DRAFTING OF A DECLARATION ON THE RIGHT AND RESPONSIBILITY OF INDIVIDUALS, GROUPS AND ORGANS OF SOCIETY TO PROMOTE AND PROTECT UNIVERSALLY RECOGNIZED HUMAN RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS


This record is subject to correction.

Corrections should be submitted in one of the working languages. They should be set forth in a memorandum and also incorporated in a copy of the record. They should be sent within one week of the date of this document to the Official Records Editing Section, room E.4108, Palais des Nations, Geneva.

Any corrections to the records of the public meetings of the Commission at this session will be consolidated in a single corrigendum, to be issued shortly after the end of the session.



The meeting was called to order at 3 p.m.

QUESTION OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF ALL PERSONS SUBJECTED TO ANY FORM OF DETENTION OR IMPRISONMENT, IN PARTICULAR:

(a) TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT;

(b) STATUS OF THE CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT;

(c) QUESTION OF ENFORCED OR INVOLUNTARY DISAPPEARANCES;

(d) QUESTION OF A DRAFT OPTIONAL PROTOCOL TO THE CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT

(agenda item 8) (continued) (E/CN.4/1998/5, 32-35, 36/Rev.1, 37 and Add.1, 38 and Add.1 and 2, 39 and Add.1 and Add.3-5, 40 and Add.1 and 2, 41-43, 44 and Add.1 and 2, 111, 129 and 139; E/CN.4/1998/NGO/82 and 99; A/52/387)

...

19. Mr. SAFA (International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination) said that he wished to draw the Commission's attention to the tragic fate of Lebanese and Arab detainees in Israeli prisons. In the Khiam detention centre, 160 Lebanese, including 15 children had been detained without charge or trial, totally cut off from the world, since October 1997. In Kishon prison, Ibrahim Iskandar Abu Zaïd, Boulus Abu Zaïd and Ivon Sweidi, who had been kidnapped on 22 November 1997 by Israeli forces in the region of Jezzin, had been tortured. Some 70 detainees in prisons were seriously ill - in particular Lafi Al Masri, Suleiman Ramadan, Ali Hijazi and Huda Asad-Allah Madeh - and should be urgently transferred to hospitals.

20. Around 50 Lebanese were held in prisons in Israeli territory, some of whom had never been tried and others had completed their sentences 10 years ago. On 4 March 1998, the Israeli High Court of Justice had stated that Lebanese detainees were considered as hostages to be utilized in negotiations. The detainees were considered by Israel simply as bargaining chips. It was a truly scandalous situation in international law.

21. His organization requested the Commission, on behalf of the Arab Organization of Human Rights, to condemn the decision of the Israeli High Court of Justice concerning the Lebanese detainees, to ask Israel to liberate them immediately, to authorize visits by their relatives from Arab countries under the supervision of ICRC, to release all sick persons and all persons under administrative detention, to authorize visits by ICRC and humanitarian organizations and families of the detainees to the Khiam, and to invite human rights defence organizations to carry out inspections of that and other Israeli detention centres. The United Nations should also send an international inquiry commission to the Khiam detention centre to establish the causes of the deaths of a number of detainees.

...

39. Mr. MARENDAZ (Pax Christi International) ...

...

40. As far as the Israeli-Palestinian peace process was concerned, respect for human rights by both parties was obviously a key factor. The continued imprisonment of some 3,500 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails was a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Oslo Agreements. Moreover, his organization was particularly concerned about the legalization of the use of “moderate physical pressure” - in fact simply a legalization of torture - on Palestinian detainees suspected of terrorism.

...
The meeting rose at 6.05 p.m.

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